The Male Idiot
A personal growth play workshop for men
With Thilo Nonne & Richard Kimberley
28th-30th April nr Köln (Tbc)
The Male Idiot
A self growth play workshop for men. An exploration into masculinity, vulnerability and the idiocy of society within us.
The clown state: Understanding very little and feeling a lot.
The patriarchal masculine state: To understand a lot and feel very little.
There is something to learn here.
The idiot! One thing to clear up here. We use this word in the warmest and most beauteous sense. We are aware this word has a negative connotation in our society. This is why we have trained all our lives to hide what could be called our idiot. It’s through this 'Beautiful idiot' and it’s connection through clown work, which we have found a truth of humanity that lies within. Our failure, our uniqueness, our sparkling eyes, our brilliance, our imperfection. What makes us, us. A fascinating idiot who feels a lot and understands little. How can we embrace our idiot? inviting his failure lightly and for him to take a vital part in our daily lives.
The Male! We (Men) have grown into who we are today within a patriarchal society that supported us to dislocate from our idiots, our emotions and vulnerability. Boys don’t cry, we are not weak, we should feel little and understand everything. This puts our idiots into a place of shame. Masking a vital part that connects us to ourselves, each other and life.
We carry a collective wound from this and we wish to create a playful space to explore and play what is within each one of us.
Inspired by the Clown, the work then moves towards mask work, masking the body, playing what comes. We will develop, embody and have fun with a personal Male Idiot character that we will develop from our own personal stories and our connection to masculinity. We will reflect and learn from these beautiful, tragic, comic male idiots. Moving towards 'responsibility' for things we might not of been aware of. To be 'able to respond' to them.
"What you don't play plays you."
We will use Gestalt therapy and Clown/physical theatre work to explore these themes. We will play, move, share and express. We will question, reflect, grief and laugh. We will stand together and tackle these themes that are in and around us with playful seriousness and enjoy the ridiculousness they bring. We will have compassion for our wounds and we will step towards them with connection and idiocy.
The workshop will be held in English, a comfortable understanding is required. We understand and speak German as well if needed.
About the Facilitators
After several years of discovering masculinity within me, how I was shaped as a man from my family and society, how I limit myself because I view myself as a man, how I hurt (myself and) others with my masculinity and how I perpetuate something I don’t even want to be, I am still constantly discovering new layers and areas of the men within myself.
Through workshops and my professional background as a conflict trainer and Gestalt practitioner I learned to come past the self-judgment and stepping into the pain, the shame and also the ridiculousness of myself. I learned to take respons-ability for myself and society. Doing that I enjoy walking the line between humour and staying serious at the same time. And I enjoy working with men to discover our true selves beyond our gendered frame.
Joining forces with Richard I love discovering what the male idiot brings out of us and see the collateral beauty of stepping into the vulnerable idiots that hide behind the masculine masks we are used to wear.
Through training, teaching and performing theatre over the last 10 years I experience a playful connection to my own ridiculousness.
I discovered how clown work brings up an exploration of humanity, openness and vulnerability. I became hooked. I wish to explore deeper and share this work.
As a male growing up in our world I experienced a pressure to hide what I felt, my vulnerability and my love. I struggled as I didn’t connect to how ‘a man should be’. I lost vitality. My view on being a male was damaged. I distanced myself from this.
I am now in work to come back into contact with these wounds and step towards them with the support of other men.
I see a strong and healing connection between clown work and men work. To not take yourself too seriously, to hold your ridiculousness lightly and to be open to what is.
Exploring this work with Thilo is a step deeper in my process and I’m excited in what we find playfully tackling this important work together.
Find out more of me here
Comments from past participants.
"Mostly i enjoyed to share beliefs, hopes, fears, dreams and shame with a group of men. To recognise I am not alone. To rediscover a playfulness in life and to gather strength with others to overcome masks that limit us.
This workshop confused me. I mean the good kind of confusion. The one that makes you breathe, laugh and grow afterwards.
Thank you so much for this journey! I'll never forget it!"
"I enjoyed allowing to not know, to make mistakes and to laugh about it. I also enjoyed being together with people who are exploring masculinity. I was touched by the beautiful things that showed themselves behind our masks.
For me, the essence of the Male Idiot is the beauty of failure."
"I really loved the combination of Richard and Thilo, they held a very safe and fun space together. It was a really inspiring weekend which opened up some important questions and insights. It was also very healing for me to play, reflect and BREATHE within a group of men."
Nikos Wölfl Germany
"A wonderfully fun journey to discover your inner idiot, and help you understand how your environment has affected your own sense of masculinity. Finding my idiot and the self-learning around that was incredible. Combining both the physical and analytical qualities of this process was incredible"
Duncan - England
'The workshop helped me to be more kind to the sides of me that I usually push away. The exercises teased out some unexpected AHA moments, that I still carry with me.'
Hugo - Germany
28th-30th 2023 April nr Köln Germany (Tbc)
Fri 15:00-20:00 tbc
Sliding scale 200-330
(See more about sliding scales below)
Application and Questions
There are 10 spaces so apply soon.
Contact Thilo with Questions
On Sliding Scales
For a sliding scale to work it relies on the principles of truthfulness, respect for complexity, and accountability. We do not ask for income verification. We trust you to be honest. Community thrives when accountability is a central value, because that is where trust grows and depth work can be done.
Facilitators deserve to get paid and participants deserve classes which recognise the multiple realities of economic access and privilege that exist.
The top price reflects the true worth of the workshop, so that our needs as facilitators are sustainably covered. If you are able to pay for "wants" and spend little time worried about securing necessities in your life, you have economic privilege and power in our community. This price is for you.
A middle price is for those who are able to meet their basic needs but have little-to-no expendable income. Paying for this class may qualify as a sacrifice but it would not create hardship.
A bottom price is for those who struggle to meet basic needs and paying for this class would still be a significant hardship.
You are of course always welcome to pay more, this way you make it possible for us to make our work accessible for less privileged participants, who also want to learn!
If you are interested and want to learn more about sliding scale principles we recommend the Texts by Alxis J. Cunningfolk.
We are learning and encouraging an open conversation about money, with everything that appears around it (e.g. shame, self-worth etc.)